Walsall men become first ever to Race for Life
Men from the Black Country have become the first ever to sign up for Cancer Research UK's Race for Life.
The group, from Tesco in Walsall, have made history by taking on the challenge – which has been opened up to men for the first time in more than 25 years.
Men will be able to take on the 5K and 10K courses alongside women and children.
They will be joined by the Mayor of Walsall Councillor Marco Longhi, who pledged to take part alongside his wife Mayoress Andrea Longhi.
Dan Checkley, personal shopper, from Littleton Street's Tesco, said: “Our store has always supported Race for Life because it raises such a phenomenal amount for cancer research.
"The event is close to our hearts here in Walsall because it gives us the opportunity to remember colleagues we’ve lost to cancer as well as to celebrate the lives of staff members who’ve survived the disease.
“I can’t wait to take part alongside the ladies this year. It’s a fantastic atmosphere and I’d encourage anyone thinking of having a go to sign up.
"It’s not about being fast or sporty but just about coming together as one community to beat cancer.”
Mayor of Walsall Councillor Marco Longhi said: "I’m delighted to support this event with the Mayoress and I think it’s great that men across the UK are now being invited to join in and support the cause.
“The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to be fit – or even wear a pink tutu - to take part. This event is for everyone so I hope people will join in and get sponsored.”
One of the first events in the country to accept men will be Weston Park Pretty Muddy on May 4, followed by Walsall's 5k and 10k Race for Life events at Walsall Arboretum on May 12.
Wolverhampton’s 5km event takes place at West Park on June 16, with Himley Hall in Dudley hosting its 5k on July 7 and Sandwell Valley Country Park hosting Pretty Muddy on September 28.
Kirsten Shore, Cancer Research UK’s West Midlands events manager, said: “Our Race for Life events help people with cancer by raising money for research, including clinical trials here in the West Midlands which give patients access to the latest treatments.
“They have been women-only since they started, more than 25 years ago but we now feel the time is right to open them up so that everyone - women, men and children – has the chance to participate together.
“You don’t have to be sporty to take part. You don’t need to train or compete against anyone else."
The race, in partnership with Tesco, raises millions each year to aid research into the disease.
For more information, visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.